When Michelle Palenschat books a room through Hotwire, she ends up in a smoking room. Can the company do that? And is it possible to get a refund?
David Coats’ daughter is stuck with a nonrefundable car rental reservation through Sixt. But it’s for the wrong date. Is there any hope for a refund?
When the Glenmoriston Town House, in Inverness, Scotland, gave Andrea McEwen the keys to the wrong hotel room, her first thought wasn’t a full refund.
When Judi McManigal arrives at her hotel in Paris, she discovers she doesn’t have a reservation. Her online travel agency won’t help her. Is she stuck with the bill?
Question: We made a reservation recently on Hotels.com for a hotel in Paris. When we arrived, the hotel informed us that they had canceled the reservation due to an issue with the credit card transaction. Apparently, not all U.S. credit cards are accepted in Europe, which we also learned when we tried to buy train tickets from a machine with the same credit card.
Our hotel told us that they had notified Hotels.com of the credit card issue and cancellation before our arrival. They even showed me a printout of the email. However, Hotels.com never notified us of the credit card problem, nor the cancellation. The hotel had only one night available, so we had to find another hotel at the last minute for the three remaining nights.
We called the Hotels.com number in France, and the agent stated that they had the cancellation in their system. But after speaking with several representatives, Hotels.com refused to put us in another hotel at the same rate.
Here are the top three hotel reservation problems — and how to make them go away.
Carol Pratt is stuck with three pre-paid nights at a Starwood Hotel. Even though she wants to move the reservation by a few days, the hotel won’t let her without losing all of her money. What’s going on?
Question: I made a pre-paid reservation at the W New York – Downtown. The rate description said it was non-refundable and a penalty would apply for changes. When I tried to change it to a few days later, I was told that the reservation was actually non-changeable, and that should I cancel it, I would lose the money and need to book three new nights.
I contacted the W hotel’s central line and pointed out that the rate description for non-refundable rates stated they were non-refundable and non-changeable. That’s not the same thing as “a penalty for changes,” which is the language in the terms for the rate I had booked.
For just $89 a night, the all-suite hotel in Killeen, Tex., promised Steven Hoybook and his family “European-style luxury” – an offer that seemed too good to pass up.
But Hoybook wishes that he had. When he and his family arrived, they found the hotel’s windows and doors shuttered. “They were out of business,” says Hoybook, who lives in Minneapolis. He couldn’t reach Orbitz, the site through which he’d booked the room, so the family found accommodations at a nearby Marriott, paying $111 a night for a smaller room.
When Hoybook finally reached the online travel agency by phone the next day, a representative “seemed sympathetic, leading us to believe that they would reverse the charge for the closed hotel,” he recalls. But after months of back-and-forth, during which the Hoybooks formally disputed the credit card charge for their first hotel, Orbitz referred their bill to a collection agency.